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The Philosophy of Universal Grammar$
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Wolfram Hinzen and Michelle Sheehan

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199654833

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199654833.001.0001

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Language and speciation

Language and speciation

Chapter:
(p.238) 7 Language and speciation
Source:
The Philosophy of Universal Grammar
Author(s):

Wolfram Hinzen

Michelle Sheehan

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199654833.003.0007

Chapters 7 and 8 form a unity in concerning biological aspects of language. In Chapter 7, we look at variation in the linguistic genotype, and the shifts in our mental phenotypes that such variation systematically entails within the genus Homo. Comparison of these cognitive types lends support to our ‘Un-Cartesian’ contention: that grammar is the fundamental organizational principle behind a cognitive phenotype that is unique to our species, and defines it. This changes our perspective on a theory of Universal Grammar: it is clear that any such theory informs the theory of the speciation of modern Homo sapiens, and of its unique mental phenotype.

Keywords:   Speciation, genus Homo, Aurignacian revolution, linguistic genotype, out of Africa

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